Community & Current Events

Me to We Winner: Jasmine Kassam

Photography by Roth and Ramberg Author: Canadian Living Credits: Photography by Roth and Ramberg

Community & Current Events

Me to We Winner: Jasmine Kassam

From a very young age, Jasmine Kassam had a strong sense of social justice. Her family always encouraged her to do charity work and to give back to the community.

So Jasmine has always been an active volunteer. She worked as a crowd pumper at charity events, volunteered at a Calgary homeless shelter making sandwiches, and raised money and collected nonperishable food through a program called Halloween for Hunger. She has also worked with youth groups in Calgary and is involved in Children's Birthday Miracles, an organization founded by her younger sister that holds monthly birthday parties at a family shelter.

An inspiring trip
But it was a trip to Ecuador in 2011 that, she says, really brought home the importance of helping people in a hands-on fashion. It's one thing to raise money, she realized, but in Ecuador, she helped build two schools in dirt-poor areas. Working beside seven- and eight-year-olds to build their own future school gave her a new sense of reality and showed her the importance of this type of work.

"These kids cared so much about getting an education that they built a school with their bare hands, some in bare feet," she says. "It was really inspiring. You knew that when that school was built, they would really appreciate the education they would get." And it's true. It's hard to imagine a kid slacking off in a classroom they helped build.

Her Me to We journey
Jasmine has been active in Free the Children since she was 14. Now she is the president of Free the Children at the University of Western Ontario, a club with 450 members.

Jasmine doesn't know exactly what she wants to do in the future, but it's a safe bet that, with her mix of crowd-pumping enthusiasm, leadership and compassion, she'll go on to great things.

This story was originally titled "Me to We Award Winners" in the October 2013 issue.

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Me to We Winner: Jasmine Kassam

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